Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion Ltd has officially debuted its software marketplace called App World for its range of business and consumer smartphones with in the backdrop, the iPhone almost outrageous dominance of the smartphone market.
The online store will be available from today to Blackberry users in the UK, US and Canada. Other countries are expected to be added in the next few weeks. Amongst the featured apps in the store, we've noticed the latest client of Skype for Blackberry, RIM's AOL Instant Messenger, Facebook and a Salesforce app as well.
App World is Blackberry's answer to Google's Android Marketplace and Apple's App Store and comes a few hours after Microsoft launched its Windows Marketplace for Mobile in anticipation of a radical shift in Microsoft's perception of the mobile segment.
The store, launched at the CTIA Wireless show, will offer both free and paid applications with prices ranging from $3 to $1000 with developers paying $200 to join Blackberry's program.
An estimated 125,000 developers have signed for the scheme and RIM expects more than 1000 apps to be submitted by partners every week for the 13 categories listed.
Users will need to have a Paypal account to be able to use App World as well as a smartphone equipped with a trackball and OS 4.2 or higher. Potential customers will also be required to download an application to their phone to be able to use App Store.
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Palm remains the only one of the major manufacturers not to have presented any substantial online store project and is therefore the most likely to be panned. RIM is busy preparing itself for a forthcoming onslaught that will see every single manufacturer take on Apple in the smartphone market. Lest not forget that Nokia is also pinning its hope on its own OVI download store.
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